Anathapindika, aka: Anāthapiṇḍika, Anatha-pindika; 3 Definition(s)

Introduction

Anathapindika means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

A banker (setthi) of Savatthi who became famous because of his unparalleled generosity to the Buddha. His first meeting with the Buddha was during the first year after the Enlightenment, in Rajagaha (the story is given in Vin.ii.154ff; SA.i.240ff, etc.), whither Anathapindika had come on business.

His wife was the sister of the setthi of Rajagaha, and when he arrived he found the setthi preparing a meal for the Buddha and his monks on so splendid a scale that he thought that a wedding was in progress or that the king had been invited. On learning the truth he became eager to visit the Buddha, and did so very early the next morning (Vin.ii.155-6). He was so excited by the thought of the visit that he got up three times during the night. When, at last, he started for Sitavana, the road was quite dark, but a friendly Yakkha, Sivaka, sped him on with words of encouragement. By force of his piety the darkness vanished.

The Buddha was staying in the Sitavana, and when Anathapindika reached there spirits opened the door for him. He found the Buddha walking up and down, meditating in the cool air of the early dawn. The Buddha greeted him and talked to him on various aspects of his teaching. Anathapindika was immediately converted and became a Sotapanna. He invited the Buddha to a meal the next day, providing everything himself, although the setthi, the Mayor of Rajagaha and King Bimbisara asked to be allowed to help. After the meal, which he served to the Buddha with his own hand, he invited the Buddha to spend the rainy season at Savatthi, and the Buddha accepted, saying the Tathagatas, o householder, take pleasure in solitude. I understand, o Blessed One, I understand, was the reply.

When Anathapindika had finished his business at Rajagaha he set out towards Savatthi, giving orders along the way to his friends and acquaintances to prepare dwellings, parks, rest houses and gifts all along the road to Savatthi in preparation for the Buddhas visit. He had many friends and acquaintances and he was adeyyavaco (his word was held to be of weight), loc. cit., p.158. But see J.i.92, where it is said that Anathapindika bore all the expenses of these preparations. Viharas were built costing l,000 pieces each, a yojana apart from each other.

Understanding the request implied in the Buddhas words when he accepted the invitation, Anathapindika looked out for a quiet spot near Savatthi where the Buddha and the monks might dwell, and his eye fell on the park of Jetakumara. He bought the park at great expense and erected therein the famous Jetavanarama. As a result of this and of his numerous other benefactions in the cause of the Sasana, Anathapindika came to be recognised as the chief of alms givers (A.i.25).

Anathapindikas personal name was Sudatta, but he was always called Anathapindika (AA.i.208; MA.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

General definition (in Buddhism)

A name given to Sudatta, meant one who gives to the needy. He was a wealthy merchant of Savatthi in ancient India who bought the land from Prince Jeta with as much gold as would cover the ground for the construction of Jetavanna Grove - one of the great monastery Bodhimandala of Shakyamuni Buddha.(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Anāthapiṇḍika (अनाथपिण्डिक).—'giver of food to the poor', Name of a merchant in whose garden Buddha Gautama used to instruct his pupils.

Derivable forms: anāthapiṇḍikaḥ (अनाथपिण्डिकः).

Anāthapiṇḍika is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms anātha and piṇḍika (पिण्डिक). See also (synonyms): anāthapiṇḍada.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Relevant definitions

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